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Tribal Warfare
02-24-2011, 10:32 PM
Pioli says jury still out on last year’s draft (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/02/24/2680729/pioli-says-jury-still-out-on-last.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

INDIANAPOLIS | As the Chiefs continue preparations for the draft at the annual scouting combine, general manager Scott Pioli would happily accept another rookie class like last year’s.

The Chiefs found a Pro Bowler, two other starters and two contributors among their seven draft picks. That’s a good haul for the long term, much less a group of rookies.

But Pioli isn’t quite ready to call last year’s draft a success.

“That draft was productive for that season, and after one year, I’m encouraged,” Pioli said. “But the true measure of that draft and any other draft is going to be after several seasons. The jury is still out on that draft and will be for another couple of years because it’s not about one-and-done. We’re trying to build something here that will be sustainable and great.”

The Chiefs emerged from last year’s draft with starting safeties Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis, tight end Tony Moeaki, nickel back Javier Arenas and slot receiver Dexter McCluster, as well as offensive linemen Jon Asamoah and linebacker Cameron Sheffield.

Berry, who started in the Pro Bowl, and Lewis were key players in an improved defense. Moeaki was the Chiefs’ second-leading receiver, while Arenas and McCluster were part-time help. Asamoah was a backup and Sheffield missed all season because of a concussion.

The Chiefs have reason to believe they could get more from that group next season. Among the qualities they share: All were captains of their college teams, and all have been serious about working to improve.

Those qualities lend themselves to continued success.

“The core trait among this group of players is that football is extremely important to these guys,” Pioli said. “Not just the trappings of football, but playing the game and competing at a high level. Football is important to them because of their competitive nature, their respect for the game, their desire to be great players and part of a great team as opposed to players who like football because they want to experience all the trappings of being a professional football player.

“There’s nothing wrong with liking some of the trappings that come with it. But in terms of prioritizing in what is most important, it’s getting players who truly want to be great football players. Otherwise, it takes you down a bad path.”

None is more serious about working at football than Berry, who took to cleaning helmets in his spare time between games in college at Tennessee.

“I’ve had conversations with Eric since the end of the season,” Pioli said. “He is very quick to point out what the shortcomings of his performance were this year. That’s one of the best roads to improvement. Eric is the kind of guy who acknowledges what he didn’t do well and what he needs to work on. He’s acutely aware of what he needs to do to become a better player in this league.”

Still, Pioli isn’t taking improvement from Berry or any of last season’s rookies for granted.

“You’ve got to be careful not to overjudge people as human beings,” Pioli said. “You think you know, you hope you know. But you’re dealing with human beings. Some people mature at different ages. Some people become more self-aware at different ages.

“You do the best you can to evaluate the components of the person, their history, their patterns of behavior, their patterns of performance. You try to make judgments based off that, but you never know for sure.”

For the same reason he’s not ready to declare last year’s draft a success, Pioli won’t say his first draft in 2009 was a bust. Five of those eight players remain, but only kicker Ryan Succop has made much of an impact.

Much depends on the improvement of the first-round pick, defensive end Tyson Jackson. He gave the Chiefs little as a rookie and was a part-time player last year after returning from a knee injury he received in the season opener.

“Tyson Jackson and Eric Berry have different personalities, but the makeup is very similar and the work ethic is very similar,” Pioli said. “Tyson made a lot of improvement from year one to year two prior to his injury. There were some very encouraging signs, some sure signs of improvement and that’s not only in his performance but in his preparation.”

Count Zarth
02-24-2011, 11:51 PM
Phew. That's a relief after he gave the 2009 draft class no time at all.

Pioli Zombie
02-25-2011, 04:50 AM
The 2011 draft is a failure- Mecca

Hog Farmer
02-25-2011, 04:56 AM
The draft of 2011 will take us to the promise land.

Scorp
02-25-2011, 05:38 AM
Okay.... but is Mark Castle for sale?

Reerun_KC
02-25-2011, 06:09 AM
What what an insightful article.....

Teicher is so ground breaking...

Coogs
02-25-2011, 09:28 AM
It should be time to declare the 2008 class a success. Dorsey, Albert, Flowers, Charles, Carr, and Richardson. I'd like to think some Pro-Bowl apperances are right aroud the corner for two or three more of these players to join Charles.

el borracho
02-25-2011, 09:36 AM
Second round disaster; everyone else looks promising. (Except we still have no QB).

keg in kc
02-25-2011, 10:42 AM
I still hold out hopes that Sheffield is going to be another hit out of the draft. He was looking good before his head got knocked off. Certainly couldn't hurt to find another pass rusher already on the roster...

the Talking Can
02-25-2011, 11:09 AM
Tyson Jackson and Eric Berry have absolutely fucking nothing in common...

milkman
02-25-2011, 11:12 AM
Tyson Jackson and Eric Berry have absolutely ****ing nothing in common...

Top 5 picks.

:doh!:

Okie_Apparition
02-25-2011, 11:49 AM
Teicher was no team captain. But then again I think Gretz still gets a % of new season ticket sales.

-King-
02-25-2011, 03:20 PM
Second round disaster; everyone else looks promising. (Except we still have no QB).

Arenas doesn't look promising?

Reerun_KC
02-25-2011, 04:53 PM
Arenas doesn't look promising?

NO cause he wasnt a NT...

el borracho
02-25-2011, 07:30 PM
Arenas doesn't look promising?

Not overly much, IMO. Even worse when considering how early he was drafted.